Thursday, Governor Mike Parson extended the statewide “Stay Home Missouri” Order through May 3, 2020, and announced the state’s initial framework to help Missouri safely and gradually move into the recovery phase of COVID-19. “We are seeing very early signs in the data leading us to be cautiously optimist that Missouri is beginning to slow the course of the infection and see improvement, even in our hardest hit areas like St. Louis and Kansas City,” Governor Parson said. “Today, I am extending the ‘Stay Home Missouri’ Order through Sunday, May 3, so we can prepare to reopen the economy and get Missourians back to work.” Governor Parson thanked Missourians for their efforts and commitment to following the “Stay Home Missouri Order,” which has helped improve projections for the course of COVID-19 in Missouri. “I’m so proud of the people of Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “You have listened. You have taken social distancing seriously. You have looked out for each other, and you have followed the Stay Home Order. Because of your diligent efforts and sacrifices, we are able to put Missourians back to work.” Between now and May 4, the Governor’s Office will continue to monitor the situation and work with Missouri’s hospitals, health care providers, public health experts, business leaders, and state departments to develop a plan. The state’s approach to recovery will be deliberate and data-driven with two initial phases intended to protect those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 while returning Missouri to a new normal. The “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan will rest on four essential pillars: 1. Rapidly expand testing capacity and volume in the state, including testing for those who are currently contagious and those who have developed immunity to the virus 2. Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains and continuing to utilize Missouri businesses in that effort 3. Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home 4. Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data This approach combines a number of sources on data specific to Missouri, allowing state leaders to evaluate the situation locally, regionally, and statewide. Localized data includes the following: Hospitalization of known and presumed COVID-19 cases Relative population density and mobility Lab testing results Health care facility capacity to treat COVID-19, including available hospital beds and ventilators “Missouri is incredibly diverse, and our reopening efforts will be careful, deliberate, and done in phases,” Governor Parson said. “We must be ready for a slow but steady road to recovery with some sort of social distancing continuing even as we begin to reopen the economy. I look forward to seeing Missourians safe, healthy, and back to work.” Governor Parson’s “Stay Home Missouri” Order took effect on April 6, stating that individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary. All guidelines in the Order will remain the same.